Area of Law: Workers' Compensation
Answer # 642
What are Temporary Disability benefits?Region: Ontario Answer # 642
A worker injured before January 1, 1998 can receive temporary disability benefits from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Those injured on or after January 1, 1998 do not get temporary disability benefits, but receive Loss of Earnings (LOE) benefits.
There are two types of temporary benefits – temporary total disability benefits and temporary partial disability benefits.
Temporary Total Disability benefits
Temporary total disability benefits are paid while the worker is under the care of a doctor, and where WSIB agrees a worker is unable to work at any kind of job. Temporary total disability benefits are 90% of the worker`s take-home pay from the job the person was performing when injured.
For accidents before January 1, 1990, WSIB will stop paying temporary disability benefits when the worker’s medical condition is not likely to improve. The worker may then receive a pension and possibly a disability supplement.
For accidents after January 1, 1990, if the worker did not recover fully, WSIB would have made a future economic loss (FEL) award after 12 or 18 months. You will no longer receive temporary total disability benefits once you are awarded a FEL.
For accidents after 1998, the injured worker would receive LOE benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability benefits
WSIB will pay temporary partial disability benefits if workers are able to do some suitable work, but are not able to return to their regular jobs. In these cases, a worker will receive 90% of the difference between the pre-accident earnings and what is being earned after the accident.
If a worker does not return to any type of work, they will be awarded the same amount as if they were totally disabled, as long as they cooperate with WSIB conditions, such as: participating in a medical rehabilitation or return to work program, or following a work transition plan. If they do not start working or cooperate with the WSIB conditions where they are unable to work, the WSIB will reduce the benefit, usually by about 50%.
A worker will stop receiving temporary partial disability benefits if the WSIB decides they have completely recovered from their injury; if they refuse a suitable job that would pay as much as was earned before the injury occurred; or if the worker began receiving a pension or other benefits.
What if you do not agree with the benefit amount awarded?
If a worker disagrees with either their temporary total or temporary partial disability benefit amounts, they can make an objection to the WSIB, which must be made generally within six months of the decision. If the worker is still not satisfied after the WSIB reviews its decision, the worker can appeal to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, provided they do so within six months of the WSIB decision.
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